Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Visitors

  1. I would like to visit the AI Lab. You are always most welcome to visit the lab. We are located in Gates 1A and 2A, and in the South wing of the new Clark Center. Just walk in, talk to people, find out what's going on, and stop by to say hi. You will find this to be an open and friendly environment.

  2. I would like give a talk in your lab. Unless you have been already invited, the answer is usually negative. Please understand that we are already in the habit of inviting a good number of researchers every month, to present exciting work to us (see, for example, the Broad Area Colloquium, which is open to the public). We simply don't have the time for more presentations.

Prospective Students, Postdocs And Staff

  1. Enclosed is my Curriculum Vita. (those Emails often come with: hire me, admit me, I want to leave my country, I want to work with you...). Please be aware that I have received many hundreds of those messages, but I never hired or admitted a person whom I didn't know personally or who didn't come with very strong recommendations from leading researchers in the field. Because of the huge volume of requests, I may not read CVs that are sent to me without solicitation.

  2. How can I become a student at your esteemed university? Every Spring, Stanford admits a small number of students into its various educational programs. A good starting point is the Admissions page, which contains guidelines for admission and descriptions of the various programs; we also offer a frequently asked questions page. You might want to know that none of Stanford's educational programs solicit direct interaction with Stanford faculty, staff, or students, during the process of applying. In particular, sending me a CV does not increase the prospects of getting admitted. I don't admit students, the University and the Department does.

  3. How can I find out the status of my application? Most decisions are made by mid-March for admissions in the graduate program in the Fall of the same year. If you haven't heard by April 1, send mail to Faculty members usually don't know about the status of individual applications.

Stanford Students

  1. I am looking for an academic adviser. Great! Feel free to contact me directly, though I strongly recommend contacting my students first if you are interesting in working with them on one of their projects.

  2. I am looking for financial support. This is usually not a problem if you work with me or one of my students/postdocs, but I cannot charge your stipend or tuition to one of my research grants if you are not working with one of us.

  3. I'd like you to write me a letter. I am usually happy to, with one caveat: If I barely know you, then I will state this in my letter. Sending me your CV doesn't really change this; neither does an office visit. Please consider that it can look quite negative if one of your chosen supporter barely knows you. So be careful that you select only recommenders who know you well. I believe this applies to pretty much any faculty recommender at Stanford.

E. Reviewing

  1. Would you be able to review the following manuscript? I am on a number of editorial boards, and am involved in organizing several meetings. At this point, my reviewing resources focus on these journals and conferences. As a result, I am extremely unlikely to take on additional papers for review. I also have a bias against journals that sell papers for money, and am more likely to review for online journals that make paper available to all without a fee or a charge.

  2. I mailed you a manuscript for review which is now overdue. Please never ever send me a physical manuscript for review before previously contacting me via Email. If I have not previously agreed to review the manuscript, I will not do so when receiving a physical copy. If you first contact me by Email, you will find out whether or not I am available much earlier. So if you are concerned about a fast turn-around, sending me Email first will avoid unnecessary delays in the reviewing process.

  3. Please join our Editorial Board. In all likelihood the answer will be NO if the journal restricts access to paper to people who pay a fee or a charge. I am a big advocate of the free and unrestricted dissemination of scientific results, especially now that we can do this through the Web.

F. Email

  1. I sent you information by Email - Didn't you read my mail? This has become a problem. At present, I receive between 150 and 400 personal Email messages per day. Even if I quit my job and stop sleeping, I wouldn't be able to answer all of them. I am willing to spend up to two hours a day on Email. This means that I am not even able to read the majority of my Email. I realize yours might be one of those that I am unable to read, and I hope you accept my sincere apologies. On the flip side, if I only did Email all day and nothing else, would you really want to talk to me?

Thanks for reading my FAQ. I appreciate the interaction with people all over the world, but hope that some of the most urgent questions will find an answer on this FAQ.